Thursday, May 28, 2009

Once, Upon A Time…

How many good stories started out just like that? Probably more fairy tales or fables than good stories I suppose. Well this is not a fairy tale; but it is a good story about a movie we watched last night called Once which was released in 2006 but I had never heard of until it was suggested to me.

Netflix, oh wondrous little goldmine of all things interesting, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your little pop up box that say to me “You might also like” because I did. I really did.

Set in Dublin, the movie is for the most part about a struggling street musician who also just happens to be one of the most amazing songwriters out there. Things really take a turn for him when he meets a Czech girl that is completely inspired by his music and in turn, completely inspires him. Together they discover a whole bunch of intimate things about each other without ever physically connecting; their real and lasting connection is through music.

The story is brilliantly written, very indie-real but not in an overtly “we’re trying too hard” type of way, and the little time we get to spend with these characters (one week) is so not enough. What really impressed me is that just about every original song in the movie is not only sung by the actors but written by them as well. The little Netflix sleeve touts it as a “musical” and in the sense that music punctuates the entire story then yes that is an accurate description but no one just breaks out into song to tell the story. OK yes they do, but it is not done in a peppy, poppy, dance number type of way.

The music was right up my alley -- very soul filled lyrics with a strong attention on guitar and not as strong a concern if the musician is the world’s best singer but more that they were feeling every melody as it flowed out of them. Some of the songs are also heavy on piano and the duets between the characters are so amazing I was wondering how many auditions they had to hold to find the perfect female voice to match with Glen Hansard’s.

While doing a little research into the flick today I discovered that he is the lead singer of an Irish band called The Frames (a band that has released 8 albums since 1991) and the concept of the movie was in fact his. The female character is played by Markéta Irglová and it turns out after the movie was over, not only did they win an Oscar but they started a relationship and a new band called The Swell Season.

I seriously recommend checking this one out as soon as you can and you will probably find yourself, like me today, over at iTunes or Amazon anxious to download the soundtrack.

Killer flick, killer music. So glad I have discovered both as now I have a new artist to add to the ever growing list of stuff I must own and fill my brain with. Then again, I guess technically there are four which just makes it all the better.


Bridgete said...

Thanks for the recommendation! =)


Have you yet had the chance to see "Happy Go Lucky" 2008 British film that just won a few awards?

Very laid back, simple, poetic with few surprises. Makes you ponder.

The whole audience .."we" were all deadly quiet through most, and "we" then would have and extreme collective burst of laughter in the middle, and then a grumbling giggle when 'we' realized 'we' were not alone. Funny but, subtle.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Ooh no Teri I haven't seen that one yet but it will be going in the Netflix queue as soon as I'm done thanking you for the suggestion :-) Sounds like a winner!


Jenn: Tell me how that Agave sweetener is working out for you. I usually stick to honey, all day, everyday. I like the soy by, it does not like me back. It makes for a great neutral palate base = it takes on any flavor you give and enhances it. Chocolate to garlic, whatever it is, it will be stronger; vs. milk.